NTSB Identification: CHI01LA099.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, March 07, 2001 in DEKALB, IL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/20/2002
Aircraft: Grumman American AA-1C, registration: N9886U
Injuries: 2 Minor.
NTSB investigators may have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
The pilot said that he was sightseeing with a passenger in his airplane. While maneuvering, the airplane's engine lost power at approximately 1,000 feet above the ground. The pilot executed a descending left turn and made a downwind forced landing to a corn stubble field. The pilot said that he had insufficient altitude to attempt a restart. He also said that he never tried to switch the fuel selector to the other fuel tank. An examination of the airplane showed the fuel selector switch positioned to the left fuel tank. The left fuel tank showed no evidence of fuel. The right fuel tank showed fuel present. No other anomalies were revealed with the airplane. The surface winds at the accident site were estimated to be 240 degrees at 20 knots with gusts to 30 knots. Blood alcohol tests conducted by local law enforcement officials on the pilot showed the pilot having a blood alcohol level of 0.08. Federal Aviation Regulation Part 91, paragraph 91.17 (a) states that no person may act or attempt to act as a crewmember of a civil aircraft while under the influence of alcohol and while having 0.04 percent by weight or more alcohol in the blood.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: Fuel starvation, the pilot not switching the fuel selector to the other fuel tank, and the pilot not maintaining control of the airplane through the forced landing attempt. Factors relating to this accident were the pilot's inadequate fuel management, the pilot's improper in-flight planning and decisions, the pilot's impairment(alcohol), the rough/uneven terrain, the strong tailwind and the gusts.
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